James Busby High School

Excellence, Equality, Respect, Safety

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Human society and its environment

In human society and its environment (HSIE), both subjects of history and geography are mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Students learn specific historical and geographical concepts and skills in history and geography. They also have an opportunity to learn more about people and the societies and environments in which they live through elective subjects in Years 7 to 10 (Stages 4 to 5).

A large number of individual subjects make up the key learning area of HSIE in which students:

  • research, gather and analyse information
  • question and make judgements
  • write for a variety of purposes. 

In Year 11 and 12, students can choose from a range of HSIE courses. These include:

  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History Extension
  • Legal Studies
  • Modern History
  • Society and Culture
  • Studies of Religion.

Vision statement

Our vision reflects our values. We aspire to the highest standards of excellence in teaching and learning and aim to achieve this through the development of the skills, knowledge and understanding of our students, including research, investigation and enquiry skills.

We are also committed to school-wide literacy and numeracy initiatives. We do these things to cultivate the students’ ability to question, reflect and reason, so that they appreciate the beauty and significance of the Humanities in our lives. We will aim to develop the skills and worldviews required for our students to function in and contribute to the communities in which they live.

About the HSIE faculty

The HSIE faculty is committed to developing comprehensive programs that encourage discussion and enquiry by students, to help them present opinions, attitudes and beliefs about the world around them.

Programs are developed in line with curriculum requirements to inform and engage students and help them achieve the best possible educational outcomes. Our priority is to work in partnership with students to maximise their learning potential and provide them with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and ability in a range of subjects, course and activities.

Our teachers are part of a network of teachers in the Sydney region that collaborate to share ideas, principles and strategies relating to the History and Social Science pedagogies and how to best implement them.

​To help facilitate this, our staff is affiliated with the following institutions through membership and/or professional development: ​

  • Geography Teachers Association New South Wales (GTANSW)
  • History Teachers Association (HTA).


  • Ms A Wolfe  - Head Teacher (Relieving)
  • Mr P Foster - Teacher
  • Ms P Encina  -  Teacher / Year 10 Year Adviser
  • Ms M Kasavetis - Teacher / Year 10 Assistant Year Adviser
  • Ms M Sharan -  Teacher
  • Ms D Hernandez -  Teacher / Year 12 Year Adviser
  • Ms L Hokin - Teacher (on leave)

Subject and courses offered

Stage 4

  • Year 7 – History (Mandatory)
  • Year 7 – Geography (Mandatory)
  • Year 8 – History (Mandatory)
  • Year 8 – Geography (Mandatory).

Stage 5

  • Year 9 – History (Mandatory)
  • Year 9 – Geography (Mandatory)
  • Year 10 – History (Mandatory)
  • Year 10 – Geography (Mandatory)
  • Year 10 – Commerce.

Stage 6

  • Year 11 – Ancient History
  • Year 11 – Business Studies
  • Year 11 – Legal Studies
  • Year 11 – Modern History
  • Year 11 – Studies of Religion
  • Year 12 – Ancient History
  • Year 12 – Business Studies
  • Year 12 – Geography
  • Year 12 – Legal Studies
  • Year 12 – Modern History
  • Year 12 – Retail Operations
  • Year 12 – Studies of Religion.


Over the year, various forms of assessment tasks are used in HSIE to evaluate student learning and understanding in each year group, and for all subjects offered.

All students are provided with an assessment notification at least 2 weeks prior to each scheduled task being held. It is important that students read and understanding this information and seek clarification, where necessary, well in advance of that task occurring.

Information about assessment tasks in HSIE are communicated to students and parents through the SkoolBag App, and also located on the assessment and reporting section of this site.